The Bat Cave Affair Recap

Professor Harvey Glomm drives Napoleon to a farmhouse in the Ozarks and insists that "she" is worth it. They go inside and Harvey warns that his research associate Transom that he may be testing her again. Transom motions them to stay silent and tells his test subject--Clemency McGill--to concentrate. Clemency is behind a strung-up blanket, and can "sense" each card that Transom holds up. Napoleon, unconvinced, holds up a card at random and Clemency is able to say what it is. The agent is still unconvinced and re4minds Gloom that he's there to confirm what is going on. Clemency comes out and is able to divine Napoleon's name and the names of U.N.C.L.E. and Thrush. Glomm insists that he didn't tell Clemency anything.

Clemency's grandpa turns up the radio and she tells him to turn it down. She picks up Illya's name and senses that he's in danger somewhere in Spain. Clemency tells Napoleon that Illya is in danger from a bull's horn. Napoleon smugly says that Illya is in Stockholm.

In Spain, Illya is in a bullfighting ring bowing to a cheering crowd. The agent runs for the barricade but the men there order him out at gunpoint, and the bull charges at Illya.

Act I: Shoot fire and save the matches.

At U.N.C.L.E. headquarters, Napoleon tells Waverly that Clemency checks out. Glomm's background check is clean and they're still investigating Transom. Napoleon has brought all three of them there, just as they receive word that Illya is calling in. Illya explains that on his way to Sweden, he intercepted a Thrush letter with a list of numbers. The letter was postmarked Madrid so Illya went there to find the source. The agent explains that two Thrush agents chased him into the bullring, and now he's in protective custody. Napoleon says that Thrush sent an ultimatum that unless they receive $1 billion, they will start Operation Night Flight on Thursday. It will paralyze air travel through the world but U.N.C.L.E. doesn't have details.

Once Waverly signs off, he and Napoleon meet with Clemency, Glomm, and Transom. Clemency is tired of reading cards, and Napoleon suggests that they have her identify some picture postcards. Glomm isn't sure but Transom has faith in Clemency and the professor gives in. Clemency identifies each postcard by its location, and takes offense when a photo of Napoleon's girlfriend comes up. Waverly provides a photo of his grandson Melvin and Clemency identifies it as well.

Later, Napoleon takes Clemency to get an ice cream soda at the U.N.C.L.E. commissary. She explains that she was born with her clairvoyance and got it from her grandmother. When she died a year ago, people started coming to her. Clemency knows that Napoleon went dancing with a girl named Stephanie the night before, while the cashier brings over another soda. She says that she gets another reading of Illya and says that if he wants to find what he's after, he should go to a place in Seville with a wolf's head sign: Casa del Lobo.

As the Casa del Lobo in Seville, Illya goes inside and several men notice him. The agent takes a seat and applauds the flamenco dancer when she finishes her set. The woman looks over at Illya and he joins her at the bar. The dancer leads him into the back and shoves him through the doorway, and then calls Thrush on the radio in her rose to inform them that she got Illya there right on time.

The men from the bar are waiting for Illya in the basement, guns drawn.

Act II: :Bats, Piranhas, and E.S.P.

The three Thrush agents take Illya to their leader: Count Ladislaus Zark. Zark welcomes Illya by name and introduces himself, and is disappointed when Illya hasn't heard of him. He points out that Illya would have heard of him after Thursday... if Illya lived that long. Zark says that he is Operation Night Flight, the director of research. He created the plan and proved that it was doable, and plans to put it into operation. Zark tells Illya to hand over the paper, and Illya quickly hands it over rather than take a beating. As Zark confirms that the letter is the original, Illya wonders why the count tried to kill him in Madrid. Zark admits that it was a mistake and his men were supposed to bring Illya back alive. He bids Illya goodbye and escapes in a flurry of his cape. Illya attacks the Thrush agents and soon subdues them with the help of a gas grenade.

Illya soon catches a flight to Vienna and contacts Napoleon en route. Napoleon tells his partner to take a bus to Transylvania and head to the castle he told Illya about. As a pretty woman sits down next to Illya, Napoleon admits that they got the information from a pretty girl with ESP. When Illya gets to Transylvania, he takes a motorcycle to the castle and proceeds on foot.

In New York, Clemency comes out of the bedroom in her pajamas and tells Napoleon to tell Illya that there are piranhas in the moat.

As Illya prepares to swim through the moat, Napoleon contacts him and passes on Clemency's warning. Illya confirms that the fish are there, and Clemency directs him to a cave with a tunnel extending below the moat. The Russian proceeds down the tunnel and is swarmed by thousands of bats.

Act III: Illya at Bat

Illya takes cover until the bats go by, and continues until he finds a door. Zark and his servant are waiting for him, and Zark says that the bats that flew by weren't treated. Illya threatens to shoot Zark, and he releases a trapdoor that drops Illya out of sight.

At the apartment in New York, Napoleon buys Clemency new clothing. She figures that U.N.C.L.E. wants something, and Napoleon assures her that they just want her cooperation.

In his lab, Zark is working when his servant brings Illya in. The servant handcuffs Illya and Zark says that he's determined that the letter Illya gave him is a counterfeit. Illya insists that he doesn't have the original.

Margo with U.N.C.L.E. calls Napoleon and asks if he's heard from Illya recently because they haven't. Clemency isn't happy with being kept in the apartment, but concentrates and tells Napoleon that he doesn't have to worry about Illya anymore because he's coming back after finding nothing at the castle.

Zark tells Illya that his superiors have received a message from him that he's safe and on his way home. He explains that he has a cortical stimulator and they used it to implant knowledge in Clemency's brain via microwaves.

At the apartment, Clemency packs and tells Napoleon that she's going home where she belongs. She figures everyone considers her a freak, and they're all taking advantage of her. Clemency wants to go out and see the city, and figures that they wouldn't look at her if she didn't have her gift. Napoleon assures her that she's a pretty girl, and assures Clemency that he likes her. They kiss and she tells Napoleon to be careful of her comb. When she says that Transom told her to wear it all the time, Napoleon suspects that something is up. He removes it and confirms that it contains circuitry, and then calls Waverly to warn that Illya is in trouble. Waverly gives him permission to travel to Transylvania, and Napoleon explains that Thrush has been feeding her misinformation. Napoleon insists on taking Clemency with him.

At the castle, Zark has Illya tied up and figures that he memorized the letter's contents. If Illya doesn't tell him the contents by nightfall, he will make Illya his first human subject. When Illya points out that he doesn't know what the project is, Zark reveals a bat in a cage and brings it over to Illya. He explains that he has altered bats to interfere with aircraft radar, and releases the bat into the air pattern above the castle. The radar screen goes crazy, and Zark boasts that there is a crate in every major airport in the world containing a hundred such bats. A signal from the castle will free the bats and plunge the world into chaos now that he hasn't received his billion dollars. Zark says that they use vampire bats from South America and confirms that Illya won't talk. He then shows Illya a cage full of the bats in the next room and his servant tosses Illya into the cage.

Act IV: ...out of the belfry

At U.N.C.L.E. HQ, reports of chaos come in from the airports in Paris and Hong Kong. Waverly cancels all flights and warns the British Air Ministry that Operation Night Flight will start in 12 hours. The only plane in the air has Napoleon aboard.

On the plane, Napoleon and Clemency watch the in-flight spy movie.

Zark returns to the cage and finds Illya trying to keep the bats off of him. Illya wonders why Zark needs the real letter, and Zark explains that the precise frequency to recover the bats once they've served their purpose. The agent still refuses to talk, and Zark estimates that he has two more hours until he passes out from exhaustion. He goes to the radio where Thrush agents report that Napoleon and Clemency are heading for the castle. Zark tells them to transmit to Clemency that they should come to the front gate where he'll greet them.

Outside the castle, Clemency gets the message and Napoleon figures that Thrush sent the message. Napoleon loudly announces that they're going to the first cave and then leads Clemency to cave that Illya used earlier. They go down the tunnel and head for the castle.

Illya tells the servant that he'll tell them where the letter is, and the man returns him to the lab. Zark returns and calls Thrush, demanding to know where Napoleon is. Angry, Zark signs off just as Napoleon and Clemency come in, and the agent trains a gun on the count. When the servant tries to hit him with a chair, Napoleon shoots him dead. He gives Clemency his revolver to hold on Zark while he tends to Illya. Zark says that he'll have to speed up his timetable and throws a switch, releasing the bats. He runs out of the lab for his control center, and the U.N.C.L.E. agents get Clemency out through the main door. One bat gets out and Napoleon sprays it with anesthetic gas. Clemency says that it's behind a nearby wall and points out that she lost her comb in the struggle.

The trio go through to the command center, where Zark is preparing to send the signal. Illya pulls out the power cable, and Zark boasts that he's already opened up all of the bat caves. The bats will disrupt air flights throughout Europe, and Zark runs out while the agents are distracted. Illya recalls the numbers on the letter except one, and Clemency supplies it. They realize that the numbers are a radar control setting. They enter the frequency and the radar waves disrupt the bats' sonar, causing them to fly to their deaths.

Later back at U.N.C.L.E. HQ, Napoleon, Illya, and Waverly buy Clemency all the sodas she wants. Waverly assure them that Transom has been imprisoned, and Illya suggests that he and Clemency go out and discuss him forgiving her for the trouble she got him in. Waverly invites Clemency to a concert, but she says that Napoleon will be taking her to his favorite nightclub. When he wonders how she knows, Clemency says that she must have ESP.

Written by Gadfly on Dec 10, 2015